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Rugby News

'We stood up well to Pau threats' says Geordan

Geordan Murphy says he was impressed by the resilience of the Leicester Tigers defence as well as the clinical finishing in attack during Saturday’s European Challenge Cup win over Pau.

Jonah Holmes scored four tries, with George Worth adding the other, in a 41-20 victory in the opening game in Pool 5.

“We needed a win and it was good to get that on the disappointment of the performance at London Irish last week,” said head coach Murphy.

“The team played some good rugby at times and smart rugby in the right areas.

"Pau's points probably came from us not managing field position correctly so there are areas we can improve and our discipline at times was off, we gave away too many penalties in defence, but I thought we controlled the game well.

“Pau are a good side, they are a top-three side in France, so they came here without fear. They rotated some bodies, they had an injury in the first half and lost Votu at half-time. But they continued to cause problems, they had a lot of ball in our 22.

“They had us under a bit of pressure when Sione [Kalamafoni] was in the sin bin but we had a good, resilient defence to hold them out and we also held them up over the line a couple of times.

“I think there were opportunities for both teams to score more. There were chances left on the field and things both sides can polish and build on.”

Murphy welcomed back five of his England players from the World Cup, with Manu Tuilagi, George Ford, Ben Youngs, Dan Cole and Ellis Genge all involved in club colours for the first time this season.

“They looked sharp,” said Murphy. “They’re important players for us and they showed some classy things today.

“They’ve been under physical and mental strain for a long time with the World Cup and we’ll integrate them over the next few weeks and manage their gametime.”

Tigers go to Cardiff Blues on Saturday (8.00pm) in Round 2 of the Challenge Cup before the back-to-back games against Calvisano in December.